Work Motivation and Employment Goals in Later Adulthood

  • Ruth KanferEmail author
  • Keaton A. Fletcher


Population aging across the globe has focused increasing attention on work motivation and employment goals among older adults. This chapter examines the psychological foundations of work motivation and lifespan theories of motivation as they affect older adults. Measurement issues, motives, and the psychological mechanisms by which older adults address age-related changes in competencies and life circumstances are reviewed, and a distinction is made between determinants of motivation at work (job engagement) and motivational factors and processes that contribute to employment decision-making (to continue to work, to retire, to seek post-retirement work). Organizational strategies to enhance motivation at work and future research directions are discussed.


Motivation Lifespan theories Job engagement Employment decision-making 


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© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of PsychologyGeorgia Institute of TechnologyAtlantaUSA

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